Pear Fennel Salad with Baby Spinach

Pear Fennel Salad with Baby Spinach 

By Mark Zuleger-Thyss | Salads | Serves 2-3 | Plant-Based & Gluten-Free

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This tasty Pear Fennel Salad showcases cold weather produce. We use baby spinach, although you could substitute it with peppery arugula. Try tossing it with a lemon mustard vinaigrette. This salad is entirely plant-based and gluten-free. It is so easy; you can whip it up in less than 15 minutes with ingredients found at your local farmers' market or from your garden. The mix of sweet pears, fennel with its licorice fragrance, and spinach marry well in this cold weather salad. Lightly sweet and fresh, this salad works as a great light lunch or dinner side.



  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced paper-thin (use of a mandolin is best)
  • 2 medium green pears (unpeeled), sliced about ⅛ inch thick
  • 2 cup baby spinach leaves or arugula leaves
  • A squeeze of lemon, if desired
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)



  1. Fennel: trim the stems leaving the bulb. Reserve the fennel fronds. First, cut the fennel bulb in half, and then using a mandolin, slice into thin pieces
  2. Chop 1/2 cup of the fennel fronds
  3. Slice pears in half, core, and slice into thin wedges
  4. Put fennel slices, fronds, and pears to a large salad bowl
  5. Add baby spinach or arugula leaves
  6. Mix together vinaigrette dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper in a small dish. Drizzle over the salad and gently toss
  7. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper
  8. Serve immediately



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